It is such a great privilege to serve as the ninth president of the University of St. Thomas. My wife, Melynda, and I deeply appreciate the warm welcome we have received from the UST community. We are heartened and impressed by the extraordinary faculty, staff, alumni and friends who share their talents, expertise and commitment for the benefit of our dedicated students each day.
The first few months of my tenure have been exhilarating, rigorous and challenging. A catastrophe called Hurricane Harvey created a literal storm of chaos and devastation for Houston and the Gulf Coast, but our community united in love and concern for those among us in need of help. Our efforts to aid UST students, faculty and staff affected by Harvey have been hugely successful. This camaraderie speaks volumes about the St. Thomas spirit, a spirit that drives all we do and gives me abundant hope and enthusiasm for the future of UST.
Despite Harvey’s best effort to derail our fall schedule, we were able to launch the semester after only a brief delay. The University’s fall enrollment is 3,237, including 1,864 undergraduates and 1,373 graduates.
We are on track for a successful year, but we are also crafting and launching a vibrant new vision for the next five years. The Call Toward Tomorrow is the University’s new Integrated Planning Process, aimed at advancing UST with confidence, direction and purpose. Celts are lending their voices and expertise as we plan for a future of dynamic growth and achievement for the benefit of our diverse community of learners—the students who are the future of our country and our world.
Please peruse this Impact Report, and then come and experience our campus first-hand. My door is open and all are welcome.
In peace and unity,
Nationally renowned strategists, led by UST alumnus, Deacon Larry Vaclavik ’78, ’94, ’04, are spearheading a planning process that engages a broad mix of faculty, staff, friends, directors and alumni to help clarify a bold, transformational, durable vision, shaping how we conceive the promise ahead for decades in the life of the University of St. Thomas.
This integrated process will unfold over the balance of this academic year. President Ludwick explains more in the video below.
Our hearts and prayers continue to be with those who are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey, including many of our students, faculty and staff who suffered devastating losses. Though the storm brought pain and despair, it has also created an outpouring of love, care and hope.
As Harvey's floodwaters rose, a team of UST staff and alumni volunteers mobilized to contact as many of our students and staff members as possible, assess their needs and take action to help. More than 150 students suffered significant storm-related losses that threatened their ability to remain enrolled, and many faculty and staff members were also in desperate need due to Harvey. UST's #CeltCare initiative came to life. This comprehensive effort included financial assistance, counseling, flexible scheduling and a host of other services to help aid in the recovery from one of the most catastrophic events in our city’s history.
But for many, recovery is a long and arduous process, and the need among affected students and staff will continue for many months, even years. UST is committed to helping this effort long-term and welcomes support from the greater community.
Generous donors replaced 58 destroyed student laptops and $15,000 worth of lost books. UST students also volunteered in the community to help with relief efforts.
Crowdfunding campaigns raised nearly $40,000 for school-related financial assistance to students, and over $6,000 for faculty and staff support.
Nearly 2,500 students were personally contacted to assess their needs and ensure their safety.
Spring of 2017 marked the dedication and grand opening of the new Center for Science and Health Professions. This 103,000-square-foot nursing and STEM facility boasts a 10:1 student-faculty ratio with state-of-the-art lab space and classrooms, including touch-screen interactive tables, modern lab and medical equipment, full biology and chemistry departments and much more.
Meeting the increasing demand for nursing and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degree programs in Houston, this new center sits just two miles from the world-renowned Texas Medical Center.
The Center for Faith and Culture has named Fr. Chris Valka, CSB as its new director.
In the last three years, the number of UST students reaping the benefits of international education has doubled.
One of the first to earn UST's Master of Public Policy Administration degree, Natali Hurtado '15, is improving public safety, environmental and urban design, and community development programs.
Mauro Ferrari, PhD, President and CEO of Houston Methodist Research Institute, and cofounder of the Master in Clinical Translation Management program at UST’s Cameron School of Business, was inducted into the prestigious Academy, which is dedicated to the promotion and defense of human life.
The impact of giving to the UST community is visible at every turn on campus and heard within every student's story. UST offers many ways to change a student’s life with the gift of education. Please consider making a contribution today.
We are so grateful to the many generous individuals, foundations, organizations and companies that contribute to the University of St. Thomas. We extend our thanks to the following donors who contributed gifts and pledge payments of $500 or more in Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017)
Academic Year 2016-2017
The cornerstone of our student financial aid program, The St. Thomas Fund allows students to benefit from an education rooted in the Basilian intellectual tradition and Catholic values.
Fiscal Year 2016-2017
UST is named among one of the "Best in the West" in the 2018 edition of The Princeton Review. Only 127 colleges in 15 western states made the list.
UST is ranked 26th in the 2018 edition of U.S. News and World Report "Best Colleges" list of universities in the western region of the United States.
Dr. Ludwick discusses UST's impact on the City of Houston, his Catholicism and what he envisions for the future of the University.
Denise Castillo-Rhodes, MBA '92 was named one of ABC13's Women of Distinction for her impact on the community.
UST alumni rank as some of the highest earners in Houston compared to grads from other local colleges.
President Ludwick discusses move to Houston and maintaining plans for UST's future in the wake of its 70th anniversary.
UST hosts a basketball tournament to raise support for those in the Houston community impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The University of St. Thomas officially installed its ninth president, Dr. Richard Ludwick, with a joyful day of inaugural events.
The annual Irish Gala toasted 15 years of support for the UST Center for Irish Studies, and the Irish religious throughout Texas.
A $6.5 million contribution from the estate of James M. Hughes, marks the largest single realized bequest in University history.
Dr. Herbert Edmundson, Jr. '69, UST Board Chair, was honored with the Faithful Citizen Award from the Center for Faith and Culture.
Join world-renowned singer and keeper of Irish culture Nóirín Ní Riain, Ph.D. and her sons, Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin, for an afternoon of song and story celebrating Celtic tradition.
The UST Board of Directors is pleased to honor the Basilian Fathers at the annual Light the Way Mardi Gras Scholarship Gala benefiting student scholars through The St. Thomas Fund. For more information, contact 713-525-3118 or email@example.com.
Save the date for the UST alumni's signature scholarship fundraising event of the year, featuring savory tacos from some of Houston's best eateries and world-class beer.